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International Angiology 2021 Apr 19

DOI: 10.23736/S0392-9590.21.04604-6

Copyright © 2021 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

lingua: Inglese

Update in the management of lipedema

Isabel FORNER-CORDERO 1 , Angeles FORNER-CORDERO 2, Győző SZOLNOKY 3

1 Lymphedema Unit, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Service, Hospital Universitari i Politècnic La Fe, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain; 2 Rehabilitation Service, Sagunto Hospital, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain; 3 Department of Dermatology and Allergology, University of Szeged, Szeged, Hungary


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Lipedema is a chronic feminine disease that causes abnormal fat deposition in lower limbs and occasionally upper limbs. Easy bruising and pain are common. Lipedema patients suffer from both physical and psychological disability. Despite the relatively high prevalence and the impact on the quality of life, little is known about the disease. The majority of patients are misdiagnosed as lymphedema or obesity. The objective was to perform a non-systematic review on lipedema literature, related to diagnosis and therapy. Regarding pathophysiology, alterations are not exclusively confined to adipose tissue. Lymphatic dysfunction, cardiovascular variations, blood capillary fragility and increased permeability are common. Patients often present with neurological alterations and hormonal malfunction. Elevated cutaneous sodium has been documented. Due to the absence of a defined etiology, evidence-based research is difficult in the management of lipedema. The setting of realistic expectations is important for both patient and medical care provider. The major aims of the management are multimodal for improvements in the quality of life; reduction in heaviness and pain, reshaping the affected limbs, weight control, improvements in mobility. Compression garments, physical therapy, exercise regimens, diet and psychological counseling are necessities. For selected patients, surgical treatment is an added option.


KEY WORDS: Lipedema; Obesity; Lymphedema; Decongestive Lymphatic Therapy; Liposuction

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